Join Bridge Winners
The Worst of a Good Day
(Page of 4)

At a recent regional, you enter the Open Pairs with a pleasant partner that you have had success with in the past and expect to be in contention even though there are several professional pairs in the field.

Things are going well from the start and at mid-session, your pair picks up the following hand and the bidding proceeds:

North
8
AQ94
KJ53
KQ54
South
J1054
K8532
A10
A2
W
N
E
S
1
P
3
P
4
P
4
X
5
P
6
P
P
P

(The hands have been rotated for convenience)

3S is a shortness showing bid with game or better values and shortness in the bid suit.

4S is RKC kickback and the response shows three key cards.

You receive the spade 3 lead which goes to the spade A winning the trick and East returns the club J.  

How do you feel about what appears to be a make-able contract?

So what is your plan to maximize your chances of winning the board and the event?

To begin, I believe the probabilities of a 4-0 break is 9.6%, a 3-1 break happens approximately 49.7% of the time and a 2-2 around 40.7% of the time. .

Without the return of a spade. have additional options now appeared and if so, how do you capitalize on them?

This hand was given to a highly respected player who immediately suggested playing the HK.

How do you feel about this approach and does it improve the odds of achieving success and why? and what does it risk?

As it turns out, the trumps were 4-0.

The entire hand is:

West
K973
J1076
Q82
73
North
8
AQ94
KJ53
KQ54
East
AQ62
9764
J10986
South
J1054
K8532
A10
A2
D

Note that on the actual layout, you are unable to ruff both minors to achieve a dummy reversal by finessing in diamonds and ruffing the third round of each minor as West would have needed to be 1444 or 14(35) or 24(34) or 3433 with HJ10 and DQ. And yes, there are some possible squeeze possibilities as well.

I suspect the probabilities of these holdings to be less than the roughly 90% chance of trumps breaking 2-2 or 3-1 and being able to determine the minor suit you eventually need to ruff back to hand to draw the last trump in the event of the 3-1 heart break. 

Alas, only you and two other pairs in the field bid a good slam and suffer near bottoms and eventually you have to settle for 3rd O/A rather than 1st. Frown

 A bad result on an otherwise good day, but you are optimistic as a new event awaits tomorrow for you and partner. Smile

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